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Thursday, 24 May 2012 16:56

New soccer training program bridges UK to Kalamazoo

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KALAMAZOO — Two sports industry entrepreneurs are bringing a piece of English Premier League soccer to the youth of West Michigan.

Chris Keenan, owner of Kingdom Soccer in Kalamazoo, and Erwin van Elst, president of SportPartnersUSA, have come together to bring the Rene Meulensteen Academy to West Michigan.

Meulensteen is the first team coach for the fabled English soccer club Manchester United. The club recently finished second in the Premiership, losing out on the EPL title to rivals Manchester City by a mere goal differential.

Having coached a number of arguably the best players in the world, Meulensteen tailored a specific training program that pushes well-rounded player development, Keenan and van Elst said.

“There is no program like this in North America,” van Elst said. “I think we will be a showpiece for soccer in the country.”

Both Keenan and van Elst believe the Meulensteen program has the potential to change the way youth soccer is coached and played in the states, and both men are working on widening the distribution and franchising the program.

“We think we can make Kalamazoo a hub for soccer programming,” Keenan said.

One of the first organizations to have players enrolled in training is the Grand Rapids Crew Juniors from June 12 to 14.

Tryouts for teams for boys and girls ages 6 to 17 begin June 15.

Read 2411 times Last modified on Thursday, 02 August 2012 16:51

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